“Since its launch in July 2017, the Crowdfund Derby platform has proven popular with our voluntary sector partners and has already enjoyed some exciting early successes. The Crowdfund initiative is a partnership between ourselves, the City Council and our partners, Community Action Derby.

Together we are working closely with Crowdfunder to further develop the platform. This is to increase the usage by the community and voluntary sector but also expand the platform to support business start-ups, business expansion and hopefully encourage a little more entrepreneurial activity in the City.

I’m delighted to confirm that local employer, Rolls-Royce, has also gotten involved with the Crowdfund Derby project. They are keen to support innovative projects that focus on helping young people from low income families and disadvantaged communities to achieve their potential. As part of that support, they will pledge up to £1,000 from a £10,000 fund to projects that help give young people in Derby a great start in life.

Already the Crowdfund Derby platform has raised almost £10,000 for a wide range of charitable projects, many of which support some of our most vulnerable residents; this includes five projects which received a total of £1,675 funding from our pledge fund. These projects have tackled loneliness and isolation, supported older people, provided hot meals for children from low income families during school holidays, and, most recently, been successful in providing much-needed clothing for those affected by issues of homelessness during the winter months.

But it’s not just about the money – Crowdfund Derby is also a great platform for promoting the exceptional work of local groups and highlighting important issues whilst also raising funds. A great example of this would be the recent International Women’s Day Event project, which not only exceeded its target but also raised awareness and promoted the event itself. In addition, the new partnership between ourselves and Community Action Derby has enabled over 60 groups in the city to access valuable support and advice, helping them to improve their capacity to develop stronger projects that will appeal to the crowd.

Together with Community Action we have also been able to successfully fund the Citizens’ Eye initiative: a volunteer project that provides digital and media support to groups, including audio, video and photographic resources. This not only supports Crowdfunding projects but also assists groups in raising the profile of their projects and services in the city.

So in many ways the stage has been set. With a number of exciting pre-launch projects online and further developments around business start-ups in the pipeline, myself and the team from Community Action are confident that the Crowdfund Derby platform will continue to grow from strength to strength, and evolve into an exciting and effective resource for the City of Derby.”